New BRMS-based System Improves Customer Service at 1300 Travel Agencies Throughout Germany
HANNOVER – CeBIT – March 9, 2005 – ILOG® (NASDAQ: ILOG; Euronext: ILO, ISIN: FR0004042364) today announced that Amadeus®, the travel industry technology provider and leading Global Distribution System (GDS), has selected ILOG JRules™, a key offering in ILOG’s Business Rule Management System (BRMS) product line, to determine in real-time tour availability in Amadeus’ new search and compare solution, Amadeus Destino. ILOG JRules is used to create a simplified and unified interface for 1,300 travel agencies in Germany, providing them with real-time availability information from up to 65 Germany- and Austria-based tour operators. This shortens customer response times, moves inventory faster and improves customer retention.
Amadeus Destino provides travel agents with everything they need to sell a holiday package from a single platform. Travel agents can input the traveler’s requirements and search for all offers from all operators, check availability and give the traveler information about their destination. The booking details are then imported directly to the Amadeus booking system, saving time for the travel agent and their customer. Amadeus Destino optimizes the sales process for tourism products and helps travel agents maximize their commission. Amadeus Destino delivers all the information and tools a travel agent needs to make a fast and profitable booking.
In the highly competitive travel market, the recommendation process is a strategic, but complex part of the sales process. Since many travel agencies are competing with online travel booking services, the process needs to be very fast, reliable and effective to ensure they can be competitive while offering the high level of customer service that differentiates them from on-line offerings. Prior to the JRules-based Amadeus Destino, tour availability checks were performed manually, significantly slowing response times. Travel agents had to not only learn the specific code displays corresponding to offerings from each tour operators’ catalogs, they also had keep up with them as they were frequently updated.
The ILOG JRules-based Amadeus Destino is marketed as an ASP (application service provider) solution. It allows all tour offerings, and the unique policies of each operator, to be consolidated, with the availability checks performed automatically by the system. Agents get accurate, real-time availability information, allowing them to respond quickly and freeing them to focus on customer service – the travel agency’s sustainable competitive advantage compared with online booking. In addition, the automation enabled by ILOG JRules reduces the number of mistakes inherent in the manual process, resulting in higher reliability for the customer and lower cost for the agency.
In addition to enabling travel agencies to be more competitive, ILOG JRules enables faster maintenance of the ASP-based Amadeus Destino offering. Amadeus can now deploy new policies in a week compared with three months. This is because rules are stored and modified only in the centralized rule repository versus in multiple locations required by the previous system. Furthermore, since business rules are now written in the intuitive language of the business user, both business and IT users understand what policies are in place and what modifications are necessary when introducing a new policy.
“We first considered the option of hard-coding the rules in the system but we realized this would create a very costly and hard to maintain solution”, said Wolfgang Klein, Director Business Unit Development, Amadeus Germany. “ILOG JRules provides greatest flexibility to our system, while significantly alleviating the maintenance costs and efforts of a system subject to frequent changes.”
Thorsten Krechel, office manager at Alltours Reisecenter Kossmann Reisen and a Amadeus Destino user said: “An especially efficient feature of Amadeus Destino is the search function for travel offers, which is structured by pre-defined criteria. It automatically checks for vacancies and has significantly reduced the time needed to select a suitable travel offer when serving a customer. The application has also reduced the number of errors in transferring booking codes or entering other information. What is more, the ability to simultaneously query multiple availabilities is an enormous timesaver in a travel agency.”
The new Amadeus Destino is the latest product in the Amadeus tours portfolio. It incorporates a browser based graphical user interface aimed at automating the search and availability check of tour packages across multiple tour operators. The new solution incorporates a powerful search capability that takes into consideration individual customer interests and then matches these with the most suitable tour offers directly available. The new solution facilitates the search across multiple tour operators and enables them to display detailed information about their offers incorporating multi-media material. This helps to reinforce the tour operator’s brand and differentiate their offer. Tour operators are able to distribute across geographical borders into other markets all from the same connection to the Amadeus leisure travel platform. This saves considerable development time and distribution costs and gives tour operators the opportunity to expand their distribution.
ILOG’s business rule management system (BRMS) product line include ILOG JRules™, ILOG Rules™ for .NET® and ILOG JConfigurator. ILOG’s BRMS products improve business response times to customer needs, regulations and competitive threats. In addition to the Gartner leadership distinction, ILOG was recently named the BRMS market leader by IT research firm, IDC. ILOG’s BRMS customers include eBay, Freddie Mac, Sabre, Zurich American and many other leading Global 2000 companies and governments worldwide. In addition, since BRMS is becoming an essential complement to business process management (BPM) applications, ILOG has partnered with leading BPM solution providers to provide BRMS solutions to their customers. These providers include BEA, FileNet, Fujitsu, IBM and Vitria.
About Amadeus Germany and Amadeus Destino
Amadeus Germany GmbH is Germany’s leading travel distribution system. Founded in 1971 the company now provides comprehensive products for distributing travel services of all kinds via channels like travel agents, call centers or the internet. In Germany 85 percent of all travel agents with approximately 40.000 PCs use the modern and highly developed system of Amadeus Germany. Services bookable in Germany: 490 airlines, 53,500 hotels, 44 car rental companies, 170 tour operators, 61 public transport associations and several bus operator, 40 railway companies, 34 ferry companies, 5 insurance companies, 190 event services as well as 7 cruise lines.
ILOG delivers software and services that empower customers to make better decisions faster and manage change and complexity. Over 2,000 global corporations and more than 400 leading software vendors rely on ILOG’s market-leading business rule management system (BRMS), optimization and visualization software components, to achieve dramatic returns on investment, create market-defining products and services, and sharpen their competitive edge. The BRMS market share leader, ILOG was founded in 1987 and employs more than 600 people worldwide. For more information, please visit www.ilog.com.
ILOG is a registered trademark, and JRules is a trademark, of ILOG. Amadeus® is a registered trademark of Amadeus Marketing S.A. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.